Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rubbers And Romance by Kaily Hart

Please welcome talented Ellora's Cave author Kaily Hart to the Sweet N Sexy Divas Blog Page.


I write contemporary romance. Hot and steamy and okay, sometimes dirty contemporary romance, erotic romance if you will. I try to make it as feasible and realistic as possible while still maintaining the fantasy element and keeping the reader grounded in the story. The last thing I want to do is have a reader pulled out of the story because of an element or the handling of it. It’s why I think a lot about the use of condoms in my books and how I would incorporate it into the story. Seamlessly. It has to be seamless. The bottom line is I don’t write dumb heroines. My modern heroines are aware of the risks of being sexually activity in this day and age and they wouldn’t think to have sex with a new guy without using protection. They would at least think about it—before, during or after. Of course, there’s always the spur of the moment, ‘we’re so into it that we might  forget’ moments. It happens, right? I’m not trying to preach anything and I want my books to be as hot as possible, but I feel that if I just exclude this whole area completely, I wouldn’t be fair to my characters. Yeah, I know. I probably sound a bit nuts LOL. I don’t spend a lot of time or words on this in the actual story. It needs to be part of the action, it needs to flow and it needs to be done in a way where the reader thinks nothing of it. It can be a quick line of dialogue, a descriptive action, heck…it can even be a sexy element in and of itself and be a feature of the scene! Other sub-genres such as historical, paranormal, futuristic and sci-fi I think can get away with not dealing with this area, but it’s kinda hard with contemporary to leave it out completely.

So…what do YOU think about the use of rubbers in contemporary romance these days? Yes, no, depends??



Lily Hamilton had her quiet, predictable life all mapped out, including a hot-shot attorney for a fiancé. That is until she catches him screwing around and takes off in his prized Mercedes, for once not giving a damn where she’s headed. How clichéd is that?

Gabriel Jackson is raw and disillusioned. Driving a tow truck is a far cry from the dangerous career he turned his back on, but when he finds the classy blonde in a dangerous part of LA, he’s immediately back in the role of protector.

Lily is hot and sweet and so out of his league it’s not funny, yet Gabe can’t deny the sizzling heat between them. He thinks he wants hard, fast and rough—until he gets his hands on her. He knows he should stay the hell away, but Lily makes him feel, really feel, for the first time in two years. Is she just slumming or can she see beyond the harsh, broken façade to the man beneath? A man who dreams of making her his?


In light of the blog topic, I thought I’d share an excerpt from PLAY ME that has a condom reference . ENJOY!

His jaw flexed and his gaze bore into hers. He took a couple deep breaths. He seemed to be weighing his options. Jeez, she didn’t want to have to twist his arm.
“Why the fuck not?” he finally muttered.
The bottom dropped right out of Lily’s stomach. Okay, not exactly the resounding response she’d been hoping for, but she could run with it, couldn’t she? If she could get her nerves under control and didn’t make a complete fool of herself, of course.
She frowned when he opened the passenger door and leaned in. His gaze was direct on hers when he straightened, a small square packet held unapologetically in his hand as if he wanted to be certain she saw it.
“Are you sure?” he rasped.
Her heart thundered, her throat was dry and the damn trembling was back. Especially when it registered he was holding more than one.
God, she hadn’t been exaggerating when she said she’d never done anything like this before and she couldn’t say why she was now exactly. Sex had always been a natural progression in the relationships she’d had. After a reasonable time, after getting to know someone, after feeling a connection that came with spending time together, but this… This was a driving, aching need, a want so powerful it drove her to seize the moment, to not let him just walk away and to hell with the fact she didn’t know a thing about him. She just wanted to learn every inch of him, run her hands over the hard body she’d felt pressed against her, feel him on her, in her. She was drawn to him, her body attuned to his, every nerve ending tingling alive for him. And after knowing she’d wasted a year and a half of her life on a one-sided relationship, a farce, well, she was done with that.
She’d never gone for the bad-boy type before either. There was definitely something savage and untamed about him, something held tightly under control. He’d come tearing in, literally guns blazing and saved her from a fate that just might have been worse than death. It was hot and arousing. He was hot with this rough and rugged appearance, there was no doubt, but there was something almost vulnerable about him as well, something that reached out to her, as if he needed someone to keep him safe too. It was ridiculous. She knew it was. He was probably the last person who’d be in need of protection. He clearly didn’t need it, wouldn’t want it and probably wouldn’t appreciate it.
Mouth dry, she nodded.

About Me:

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Ha! That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream —to write. And romance at that! By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is trying her best to bring the alpha male solidly back to contemporary romance, one hot story at a time. Two years ago she never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

Kaily’s books, PICTURE THIS, PAY UP & PLAY ME are all currently available from Ellora’s Cave and other ebook outlets.

If anyone would want to contact me (which I would love by the way) or just keep up with what I’m doing, you can find me all over:


Tina Donahue said...

Great post, Kaily - and a subject erotic romance writers have struggled with. How to blend reality with passion.

Kaily Hart said...

Exactly!! Achieving that right balance can be difficult. Thanks, Tina to you and Sarah for having me here today!

anny cook said...

I find if it's omitted entirely, it distracts me to the point I might not finish the book... It's that important to me.

Rena Marks said...

Good post! I think condoms give us a false sense of security. Do anything you want, just wrap it up. Plus, as readers, we certainly don't want to hear of morning breath or unheard of sex noises! We want the fantasy, so why do we want to read about "the tearing of the wrapper?"

Aislynn Archer said...

I prefer to know that characters who aren't in an exclusive relationship are using a condom. It's more than just reality, it's respect and consideration for the other person. Just my opinion.

Carolyn Rosewood said...

Yes, yes, yes. In this day and age it would be irresponsible, IMHO, for a writer to ignore the basic fact that men and woman need to think about protection. I think your readers would wonder why they weren't at least acknowledging it if you didn't mention it at all, especially in a contemporary romance.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

For contemporary romance writers I think it's necessary to have the condom appear at least in the first encounter. I think you would kill the sex scenes and reach a point of monotony to make that statement every single time. Just say you have a drawer full of them or something that allows the reader to assume they will be used each time.
A very interesting subject, Haily.
I wish you every success with your book, Play Me. It looks like a delightful story and the cover is very tantalizing.

Romantic Heretic said...

It very much depends for me when I put condoms in my stories.

If it's the first time the characters are getting it on I make sure the guy uses protection. It's a simple matter of responsibility. Just in case some one uses my writing as an educational tool as it were.

If they're a long term couple, even if it was 'just friends' up to that point in time, it depends. The woman might insist on it as a matter of trust. The man might to show he can be trusted. Or they might be too excited to care.

For me it's about responsibility, and education. Using protection is very important and we authors should include it where appropriate.

Rie McGaha said...

I think it's absolutely required in modern romances to at least bring up the use of condoms, if not actually using them and making sure the heroine is sending the right message. With all the crap on TV and things like teen mom, and the rise of children born out of wedlock, or out of an affair or one nighter, and the rise of gonorrhea and other STD's, there has to be an element of safety somewhere, and why not in our books? Some group somewhere has to stand up and say "if you're going to have sex, fine, but protect yourself!"

Nice interview.

Rie McGaha

Jennifer Colgan said...

While I don't think romance authors have any obligation to write public service announcements on the dangers of unsafe sex, I feel in a contemporary romance the subject HAS to be addressed only because a heroine who isn't thinking about protecting herself doesn't garner a lot of sympathy from me. I have to wonder what makes her so special that she doesn't have to consider getting pregnant or catching something? Other genres can have all sorts of reasons why protection isn't needed, available, etc, but in a contemporary, at the very least a mention of it is vital.

Kaily Hart said...

Anny, yeah I worry readers will be distracted if it's excluded completley.

Rena, good point. There are a lot of readers that would probably prefer not to read that reality. I get that. It's great that there's such a diverse range of taste. For me, condom usage just is. It's not bad or distasteful or awkward or unsexy. It's just integral to sex today.

Aislynn, you raise a great point. For me it's also about the characterization. As I mentioned I don't write dumb heroines. It's hard to get my head around characters who wouldn't think about protection at some point. Respect & consideration...I like that :)!

Carolyn, I certainly wonder if I read a story and it's not addressed at all.

Thanks so much, Sarah!

Great points, RH. Driven by story and characters as each element in a book should be, I think.

Thank you, Rie. I don't mean to education is my books so much but I'm a Mom and I guess I do think about this when it comes to my kids and perhaps I might feel unresponsible if I failed to mention protection.

Yes, Jennifer. The reader has to relate to the heroine and connect to her. That's probably my issue when I read a contemporary book where it never occurs to the heroine. I mean, WTH? It does tend to pull me out of the story, but readers are different. For some they may want absolute fantasy. For me I want some element of realism and sex using protection is just part of sex today.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Kaily!
In this day and age, when I read a sex scene that doesn't address protection I automatically think...an unwanted pregnancy is coming.

Mary Quast said...

Great post. To me, it depends on the situation & the characters, and how it plays into the storyline. However, I think in each book I've written, the characters have discussed it.

Kaily Hart said...

Wendy, yeah there is that LOL!

Thanks, Mary. For me, I have to at least address it even if after the heroine has to have a "OMG we didn't use anything moment".

Fiona McGier said...

Aw hell! This was supposed to be my next topic for my blog here! How did you know? Now I've got 2 weeks to come up with another! LOL.

Seriously? I write contemporary and I always have the couple talk/deal with birth control when they are in a clincher for the first time. No matter how hot sex is, if you are too arrogant to care about protection, you don't deserve to get any! I think of it as respectful of each other. Even friends with benefits need to talk about this...and if you can't talk about it because you don't know each other that well, why the hell are you having sex?

Kaily Hart said...

Fiona, LOL sorry for stealing your topic! You'll come up with something even better within 2 weeks! Good point!!

Rawiya said...

I write mostly gay romance and i would say its ABSOLUTELY necessary there. In hetero, I believe it is just assumed that the male and fem know one another.

The few times I've wrote hetero I have used rubbers in their first times and in one nighters!

Excellent post

Brenda Hyde said...

I think it's important (sorry I'm late weighing in.) and I love how you handled it. I have to mention the humorous ways some authors like Shelly Laurenston handle it too. One of her books the gal asks if they have them and the guy reaches into a kitchen cupboard to grab a box of condoms. She can't believe it since they are in her parents home while they are gone. He explains they aren't his, but he found stashes her parents had placed around the house. LOL

Kaily Hart said...

Thanks, Rawiya!

Brenda, yes I think you can incorporate it to be a funny or poignant moment in a story. Use whatever you can, right? I think incorporating it like this makes it more natural, which it is.